Holiday Traditions: Lauren shares how to make her grandma's gingerbread cookies

You can make the cookies your own by adding food coloring to the icing, incorporating sprinkles and more. (Photo Credit: WLOS Staff).

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — The News 13 team is taking you inside their homes for the holidays, to share their special holiday traditions.

News 13's Lauren Brigman shows us how to make and decorate her grandmother's gingerbread cookies. What makes these cookies so special is locally-made molasses from her friends in Madison County, plus a wonderful array of spices.

You can make the cookie dough in advance and freeze it. If making them to enjoy the same day, chilling the dough is crucial for this recipe. Remember to chill it for at least three hours.

Recipe below and click the video link to watch Lauren share how you can decorate the cookies. Enjoy!

Ingredients for cookies:

• 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

• 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

• 2/3 cup molasses

• 1 large egg

• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

• 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1 tablespoon ground ginger

• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

• 1/2 teaspoon allspice

• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves


1. In a large bowl or using a mixer, beat the butter for 1 minute until completely smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and molasses and beat until combined and creamy. Next, beat in egg and vanilla on high speed for 2 full minutes.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick and slightly sticky. Divide dough in half and place each onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap each tightly and pat down to create a disc shape. Chill dough for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is a must for this cookie dough.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

4. Remove 1 disc of chilled cookie dough from the refrigerator. Generously flour a work surface, as well as your hands and the rolling pin. Roll out disc until 1/4-inch thick. Cut into shapes. Place them 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Re-roll dough scraps until all the dough is shaped. Use flour on the work surface as needed. Repeat with remaining disc of dough.

5. Bake cookies for about 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies.

6. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely. Once completely cool, decorate with icing and sprinkles as desired.

Ingredients for icing:

• 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 1 teaspoon light corn syrup

• 2 - 2.5 tablespoons water (room temperature)

• pinch salt


1. Whisk the powdered sugar, vanilla, corn syrup, salt and water in a medium bowl.

2. If desired, add liquid or gel food coloring. You can pour some icing into different bowls if using multiple colors. If not decorating right away, cover the icing tightly and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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